Paul Hastings on Monday added white-collar partners Matthew Herrington and Tom Best from Steptoe & Johnson LLP in Washington, D.C.
While the pair have historically focused on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, they’ve recently been extending their focus into a wider range of enforcement matters.
“Over the last five years, our practice has evolved well beyond the FCPA to [anti-money laundering], sanctions, and a wide variety of legal issues that exist at the intersection of jurisdictions,” Herrington said, citing Singapore, Switzerland, the U.S. and the U.K.
The pair handles work in front of the Department of Justice as well as a range of other regulators and enforcement authorities. In the past year, they’ve had matters before the SEC, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the special counsel’s office and the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office. That growing volume of work helps explain the move to Paul Hastings.
“We got to a situation in which, had any of our clients come to us with another big investigation, it was not clear how we would be able to marshal the resources and staff that we would have needed while doing the other investigations and compliance work we were doing for our collective clients,” Best said.
The two lawyers also pointed to Paul Hastings’ global presence, highlighting the firm’s footprint in Asia.
“More and more what you see with the largest and most sophisticated clients is a continuation of the move toward a concentration in a smaller number of legal advisers, and the breadth and ability of our new partners and colleagues is just opening up a lot of doors for us already,” Herrington said.
Between the two of them, the pair spent a total of almost 29 years at Steptoe, with Herrington arriving as a partner in 2004 from Williams & Connolly and Best arriving the next year as an associate after a short spell at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
“After a strong performance in 2018, we are adding to an area of strength in our top-tier Investigations and White Collar Defense practice,” Seth Zachary, chair of Paul Hastings, said in a statement. “The addition of top white collar lawyers like Matt and Tom is a demonstration of the premier lawyers we are attracting.”
Paul Hastings has already hired a significant number of laterals in 2019, including M&A partners Bill Choe and Jason Rabbit-Tomita from White & Case in Palo Alto; former Morrison & Foerster private equity partner Alex Kaufman in the same city; and Joyce Xu, the former head of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s derivatives practice, in New York.
A spokeswoman for Steptoe did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the firm also confirmed Monday that it was closing its Phoenix office.